Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! Psalm 133:1
Easier said than done, right?
There’s plenty going on in the world right now to keep us from Unity.
Differences and dividing lines seem so much wider than ever before.
It’s always been there, but, we’re feeling it deeper than ever before.
Lines drawn in the sand feel more like fences keeping us apart.
How can we be The Body of Christ when so many of His parts remain separate and divided?
How can we dwell in unity?
I don’t propose to know the answer. I know it’s bigger and more complicated than I can understand. Even still….here is my offering.
Sit in it together
One of the meanings of “dwell” in the verse above is to sit in it together.
I think of Job sitting in ashes, broken, empty, covered with sores. His friends come and sit with him for 7 days without saying a word. They just sit. Sitting together, in it.
Isn’t that what we want? Someone to recognize what we’re going through? To stay with us?
We dwell together by sitting in it together. We share our struggles and our experiences not by always fixing it. We may not know how to fix it. There may not be anything we can do to fix it. But, we can sit with each other in it. We can listen. We can pray. We can seek God together. We can say “I hear you” “I see you”. We can give and receive the gift of forgiveness.
We celebrate the ways we are different while we sit together in our differences.
Unity does not come, however, from just sitting together in our differences. Unity arises from something much deeper, much more.
Unity develops when we are held together by One Purpose.
Unity is not conformity
Unity grows from not being the same. If we were all the same, we would be conformed to each other. There would be no need for unity. There’s no way we should be or can be conformed to each other. If we all looked the same or acted the same, so much would be missing. So much would not get done. And it would be so boring!
The only thing we should be conformed to is the image of Christ! It’s amazing how we can be conformed to Jesus while He still allows us to be specially and uniquely designed and equipped to live out our purpose in Him. But, we can’t be conformed to each other.
Then, how does Unity develop?
Unity develops when we work towards the same goal, the same purpose. We are called to live out the same vision, but we all execute it differently. Each part is different. Each part performs a different function and reflects a different aspect of Christ, but it all has the same purpose.
You see it everywhere. In sports. In ecosystsms. In music. In factories. In families. Every aspect of life, each individual part contributes to the purpose of the whole.
All parts of the same body. Different in function. Same in purpose. A Team.
It’s how we belong to each other.
Who unites us, not What divides us.
It’s not the ways we are different that hold us together, rather, it’s the One who holds the universe together who keeps us in unity.
The One holds us together through His Divine purpose.
His purpose is to be glorified in all the world! His purpose is to bring everyone in all creation to Him. His purpose is for Christ to be magnified in all of us. When we focus on God’s purpose, that’s how we stay in unity.
It pleases Him when we sit together, each different by design, held together by one purpose. He finds it good and pleasing, and He commands blessing to flow in such unity.
How can we sit together and dwell with each other in our differences?
How can we function each in our own uniquely designed way while we continue to keep focused on One purpose?
How is God leading you to dwell in unity?